2012 VBD for IDPs

On episode 2 of the podcast, we had a piece of listener mail that suggested that this year J.J. Watt will not be the number one overall scorer. I agreed, but said that he should still be selected number one because he gives you a substantial advantage over the other players at his position. This is also the reason that I have players like Geno Atkins and Muhammad Wilkerson listed so high.

That got me thinking about Value-Based Drafting. If you have never heard of Value-Based Drafting, it is a system of assigning values to players – often credited to FootballGuys.com (and you can read their principles of VBD) – that holds that the value of a player is not in how many points they score but in how much they outscore other players at their position.

I took the top scorers from last year using our assumed scoring system and calculated the VBD for each player using the last guaranteed starter at each position as the baseline (LB30, DT10, DE20, CB20, S20). The results are below. I will be updating my rankings to incorporate some of this data (and recent news like Von Miller’s elongated suspension) soon:

RankPlayerTeamPosition2012 VBD2012 Pts
1J.J. WattHouDE137.5219.5
2Charles TillmanChiCB78.0179
3Luke KuechlyCarLB60.0185
4Daryl WashingtonAriLB58.0183
5Von MillerDenLB58.0183
6Lavonte DavidTBLB55.5180.5
7Richard ShermanSeaCB53.0154
8Paul PoslusznyJacLB46.5171.5
9London FletcherWshLB44.5169.5
10Ronde BarberTBCB, S43.5144.5
11Janoris JenkinsStLCB43.5144.5
12Geno AtkinsCinDT43.0113
13Jo-Lonn DunbarStLLB40.5165.5
14DeAngelo HallWshCB40.5141.5
15Tim JenningsChiCB39.5140.5
16Muhammad WilkersonNYJDT37.0107
17Derrick JohnsonKCLB36.5161.5
18Stevie BrownNYGS36.0147
19Antoine WinfieldMinCB36.0137
20Cortland FinneganStLCB35.0136
21Jason McCourtyTenCB34.5135.5
22Jerod MayoNELB34.0159
23Morgan BurnettGBS33.5144.5
24Eric WeddleSDS33.0144
25Lawrence TimmonsPitLB32.5157.5
26James LaurinaitisStLLB32.0157
27Elvis DumervilDenDE31.0113
28Jason Pierre-PaulNYGDE31.0113
29Bobby WagnerSeaLB30.0155
30Harrison SmithMinS29.0140
31Jerrell FreemanIndLB28.5153.5
32Reshad JonesMiaS28.5139.5
33Chad GreenwayMinLB28.0153
34NaVorro BowmanSFLB28.0153
35Cameron WakeMiaLB, DE27.5109.5
36Zach BrownTenLB27.0152
37Charles JohnsonCarDE27.0109
38Wesley WoodyardDenLB26.5151.5
39Devin McCourtyNECB26.5127.5
40Rob NinkovichNELB, DE26.0108
41LaRon LandryNYJS24.5135.5
42John AbrahamAtlDE24.0106
43Karlos DansbyMiaLB22.5147.5
44Roman HarperNOS22.5133.5
45Carlos DunlapCinDE22.5104.5
46Lance BriggsChiLB22.0147
47Cary WilliamsBalCB22.0123
48Calais CampbellAriDE22.0104
49Greg HardyCarDE22.0104
50Patrick WillisSFLB21.5146.5
51Russell AllenJacLB21.5146.5
52Rob JacksonWshDE21.0103
53Cameron JordanNODE20.0102
54Jairus ByrdBufS19.5130.5
55Patrick PetersonAriCB19.5120.5
56Alterraun VernerTenCB19.0120
57Lamarr HoustonOakDE19.0101
58D'Qwell JacksonCleLB16.5141.5
59Michael BennettTBDE16.598.5
60Ryan ClarkPitS16.0127
61Jared AllenMinDE16.098
62Aldon SmithSFLB15.5140.5
63Mario WilliamsBufDE15.097
64Justin SmithSFDT15.085
65Corey LiugetSDDT14.584.5
66Thomas DeCoudAtlS14.0125
67Julius PeppersChiDE14.096
68Quentin JammerSDCB13.5114.5
69Josh WilsonWshCB13.0114
70Quintin MikellStLS12.0123
71DeMeco RyansPhiLB11.5136.5
72Curtis LoftonNOLB11.5136.5
73Glover QuinHouS11.0122
74Michael JohnsonCinDE11.093
75Chris HarrisDenCB10.5111.5
76Anthony SpencerDalLB10.0135
77William MooreAtlS8.5119.5
78Casey HaywardGBCB8.5109.5
79Reggie NelsonCinS7.5118.5
80Jonathan BabineauxAtlDT7.577.5
81Sheldon BrownCleCB7.0108
82Dunta RobinsonAtlCB7.0108
83Michael GriffinTenS6.5117.5
84Major WrightChiS6.5117.5
85Derrick MorganTenDE6.588.5
86Mike AdamsDenCB, S6.0107
87Mason FosterTBLB5.5130.5
88Patrick RobinsonNOCB5.5106.5
89Antrel RolleNYGS4.5115.5
90Eric BerryKCS4.5115.5
91Danieal ManningHouS4.0115
92Chris Clemons*SeaDE4.086
93Larry FootePitLB3.0128
94Perry RileyWshLB2.5127.5
95Akeem AyersTenLB2.5127.5
96Antoine CasonSDCB0.5101.5
97Jason BabinJacDE0.582.5

A few things jump out at me:

  • J.J. Watt is really good. Even if he drops off by 5 points per game, he could still be number one in VBD
  • There are 6 cornerbacks in the top 15. Meanwhile the top safety comes in at 18. I thought these positions were very similar in terms of their depth, but that now appears to be incorrect to me.
  • The other defensive ends are more replaceable than I thought. I was a little bit worried about using DE20 as the baseline. Our assumed system calls for 1 DE, 1 DT, and 1 DL. Most players play 2 DEs as they score more than DTs, so I just used DT10 and DE20, which should inflate the value of DEs relative to DTs. However, the second DT comes in at 18, while the second DE comes in at 27. Basically, if you don’t believe you know which DE is going to jump up to closer to J.J. Watt level, you can wait to take them.
  • Top LBs are pretty valuable. I assumed that LBs would suffer the kind of deflation that QBs do in offensive VBD calculations (you can read ESPN’s 2012 VBD column for more. However, probably because our system plays at least three LBs (and usually more due to the DP slot), the top LBs are still quite valuable.